Philanthropy and the economic crisis

Written by  //  December 5, 2009  //  Economy  //  No comments

Asian American Giving, philanthropy journal ; Council on Foundations ; NYT pages on philanthropy

Charles Bronfman And Jeffrey Solomon: Don’t give like Santa
Claus’s cause — short-term gifting — just doesn’t cut it in this recessionary time of deep, long-term need
Just to be clear, we believe that giving in any form — money, time, energy, resources, passion — is an act of righteousness. But we also believe that giving is an essential economic mechanism for addressing social needs, and that in today’s financial reality, we need to be doing much more with much less. In 2008, over three-quarters of the US$307.65-billion of U.S. charitable giving came from the individual donor. Such unbridled giving is remarkable, but Moody’s Economics predicted a US$110-billion loss in giving through 2010, and earlier this month the Foundation Center announced that Foundation giving is expected to decline by more than 10% in 2009. In this time of less, it is critical that we take basic steps to lend purpose to our giving and to think not just about putting a smile on someone’s face this Christmas, but ensuring that their smile can remain for a lifetime.
12 November
In Charity Tax Filing, a Glimpse of Goldman
The 2008 tax filing for the Goldman Sachs Foundation, a copy of which was provided by the firm late Wednesday, provides a glimpse of the legendary trading that has helped put the firm on track for its best year ever. The foundation, whose returns do not appear outsized in recent years, has placed a lot of its money in hedge funds and trades heavily in futures contracts based on baskets of stocks, bonds and currencies. Given the firm’s anticipated profits and supersize bonuses, which have touched off public furor, it is no surprise that Goldman said recently it would increase its charitable giving. It has set aside $200 million to nearly double the size of its main foundation.
11 November
Outreach in the Age of Pullback
(NYT) … the newly created White House Social Innovation Fund hopes to invest at least $360 million over the next five years to help promising community groups scale up their operations and broaden their impact.
Clicking for a Cause
Some skeptics wonder whether clicking is just a replacement for more significant commitments.
14 July
Still giving generously – How the downturn is affecting philanthropy
(The Economist) THE global recession has failed to dampen philanthropic spirit, with many rich people increasing their charitable giving, according to a new report from Barclays Wealth. Among the 500 British and American individuals with at least $1m of investable assets, only education was considered a more important expense than charitable commitments. Some 28% of Americans say they are giving less money compared with 18 months ago, though 26% are giving more. A similar pattern is seen among those givers from both countries who inherited their fortune. But entrepreneurs are more likely to give their cash away—31% say they have increased their giving and only 17% have reduced it.
June 2009
National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy Learning from Madoff: Lessons for Foundation Boards
More than 80 percent of foundations that lost between 30 to 100 percent of their assets to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme had fewer than five trustees serving on their boards. In Learning from Madoff, NCRP research and policy director Niki Jagpal and research assistant Julia Craig examined whether there was any link between board size and diversity, and exposure to Madoff’s fraudulent activities. Report
13 May
Philanthropy faces Madoff suit
: Trustee says Picower should have seen fraud
(Boston Globe) The Palm Beach, Fla.-based foundation had given millions to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Human Rights First, and the New York Public Library. It also funded diabetes research at Harvard Medical School.
27 April
Giving sector needs to adapt to economic crisis.
The recession should be spurring nonprofits, giving organizations and individual givers to regroup and find innovative ways to address urgent social and global needs that only are getting worse because of the growing economic crisis.
Three new studies underscore the need for givers and nonprofits alike to change the way they operate.
23 March
Foundation hoarding backfires; billions lost
By Todd Cohen
By hoarding and not paying out a bigger share of their assets in grants, foundations have cost the charitable world of billions of dollars now likely lost forever because of the plunge in the value of their endowments. Givers gave those funds to foundations to support charitable causes. But the law does not require foundations to pay out more than 5 percent of their assets a year.
India’s middle class willing, able to offer aid
India’s newly affluent middle class is being targeted by the nation’s charitable organizations, which finds it responsive to telemarketing, direct mail and face-to-face approaches. “These people understand development work much more than they did 10 years ago and they also now want to be part of the solution,” said a spokesman for Oxfam India, which expects to raise about $900,000 this year compared with $460,000 in 2008. AlertNet.org/Reuters (2/26)

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